Last night’s screams still rang through her ears as Arya filled up the forms while Sameer was taken to his bed on the third floor of the hospital. After making the necessary payments, she seated herself next to him and watched as the nurses attended to him.
Though Sameer was the one diagnosed with cancer, Arya suffered equally. Every ache of Sameer resonated with Arya. Every time Sameer screamed, it echoed hauntingly in Arya’s ears. Every drop of tear that he shed caused a waterfall in her eyes. And now, in the hospital, every needle pierced through two bodies.
It was in the evening that his condition slightly improved and he gave off a smile or two while conversing with her.
“You know,” he turned to the nurse, “I think I must have done a lot of good in this life while my wife here must be cursed with a rotten piece of luck.”
“Really,” the nurse smiled back, “why do you say so?”
“I am fortunate,” he replied, “because I have married such a wonderful person who is taking care of me with all of her heart. I feel extremely blessed to have her by my side. On the other hand, she has married a guy who she has to tend to all day and night – a guy who disturbs her sleep, a guy who makes her skip office, a guy who is dependent on her for every little thing, a guy who can’t take care of either her or himself.”
Arya broke into tears and cut him off, “Now if you utter anything more I will kill you before any cancer would.”
“Don’t worry,” the nurse assured him, “if you are so fortunate then I am sure you will get well soon, and then you can take care of your wife and give her all your love.”
“Can you believe it?” a jubilant Sameer spoke, “We are finally married. It just seems like a dream to me.”
“I know,” Arya spoke in equally joyous tone, “it just seems too surreal. I cannot describe this feeling in words. My legs are so tired but my heart is jumping up and down.”
“You know what this also means?”
“That you are stuck with me now,” and he gave off a devilish laugh, “you are bound to me.”
She rebuffed him, “Be ready to explain that smile when God asks you.”
“Oh why do you have to bring God in everything? You will be there to defend me there too no?”
“No, I will not be there. You will have to fight your own battles.”
“I am feeling much better now,” Sameer said as he awoke Arya from her chair, “You can go home and catch some sleep. Do eat something before you go to sleep.”
“Oh yes,” Arya rubbed her eyes as she jumped up from her chair, “Are you sure you are okay? I can stay for a while longer.”
“Yes, I am quite alright.”
“Thank God, I’ll come back tomorrow. You rest and let the nurses know in case you need anything. I’ll still tell them to keep an eye on you. Why don’t you call them when you need something? They’re doctors, not magicians. They can’t read your mind. Just ring the bell and let them know. Promise me? Great. Take care. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
She got up and took her leave. Before leaving, she turned around to see him. He looked back at her and smiled as wide as his lips could allow. It was all the assurance she needed to know that he is and will be alright.
Little did she know that this was the last time she was seeing him smile.